Environmental experts say real-time air quality updates mandated to start in 74 mainland cities on New Year’s Day will leave local officials less room to manipulate data and hide the country’s worsening pollution problem.
They said hourly readings – already provided as a trial in a dozen cities, including Guangzhou, where they began on Friday – were a first step towards improving transparency and holding the government accountable for promises to clean up the air.
Data will not only be released more frequently but will cover three more pollutants than at present, including ozone and smog-causing fine particles, and set tougher standards for the existing three pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and large particulate matter. Experts, however, warned that much more action would be necessary to reduce pollution.
The reporting changes were announced on Friday by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which said data collected from…
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